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GOP Wants More Money From the Middle Class

by coldwarrior ( 117 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Open thread, taxation at July 29th, 2015 - 7:00 am

Yes, the GOP raising taxes. I have problems with that from both an economics level and from a moral level. First the Moral Level, the GOP should never be for raising taxes, period. But, they just love big government like the Democrats.

“The billions of dollars in lost sales tax is revenue badly needed by cash-strapped state and local governments to pay the salaries of essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, ambulance crews, and schoolteachers,” the NRF states.

Ummm….BULL! Cut spending! Failing that, try to raise taxes on the citizens in the state or local government. GO ahead, put THAT to a vote with your names on it state and local coward politicians.

Now for the economic reason against this tax:

The National Retail Federation (NRF) claims that states could collect an additional $25 billion in sales taxes annually if the legislation is passed, and argues that imposing the tax would help to promote business at traditional stores, create jobs, and provide tax revenue.

On-line purchases are already taxed at the same or higher level than those bought at a brick and mortar store. Here is how that works: A product is purchased by a person in PA from an on-line merchant in, let’s say, KY. (I just got an amazon package from Lexington so I will use that as an example). This retailer has a huge brick and mortar warehouse in KY that pays taxes on wages, energy, telecom/data, property, et cetera. Fine and dandy for KY but what about PA? They want taxes too.

Well, since this package is not part the tractor trailer load going from Walmart-distro to Walmart store, it is handled far more often by more people and creates taxes at a higher level. First, the package and goods are loaded into a box at Amazon, that act is taxed on the existence of the brick and mortar warehouse and workers involved. Then, it is handed off to a FedEx line haul driver in an 18-wheeler (gas/wage/tire/vehicle taxed) who drives it to the Hub in Louisville.

The Hub is enormous and generates a ton of tax revenue for KY/local. There the package is sorted and it goes to Columbus OH Hub where it is taxed en-route by deisel/truck/tire/wage taxes of the line-haul driver and his big rig. The sort Hub in Columbus generates a ton of tax revenue as well.

It then goes to PA, to the mini-hub in Pittsburgh where it is taxed again through wages/energy/ et cetera of the sort workers who place it on a delivery truck in that brick and mortar building. There it raises more tax revenue through gas/wages/vehicle et cetera taxes to get to my door. The delivery driver works and is paid to deliver, he then spends his money and is taxed on that. Without on-line sales his job does not exist. Without on-line sales, that mini-Hub has far fewer employees and PA/local gets far less tax money, so does everyone else down the line. When taxes are raised, the taxed action is penalized and occurs less often.

So, the jobs that the NRF and GOP want are part time retail jobs instead of full time transportation careers. That line-haul guy makes well over 50k a year not counting benefits, The mangers and support staff make pretty good coin too. The package-handlers range from 14-24 an hour and at UPS they get a great benefit package. A couple more clerks at Walmart gets you what in tax revenue?

Again the GOP tries to strangle the middle class. See, the thing is, they can’t send the transport jobs over to China….I suppose they could offer H1B visas to Pakistani taxi drivers to do line haul and package delivery….

Declining Middle Class Wages and Productivity

by coldwarrior ( 92 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Economy, Open thread, Regulation, taxation at July 6th, 2015 - 6:00 am

Good Monday Morning. The High Priests of the Dismal Science have attempted to answer a nagging a question that I have had. Why are Middle Class wages wages stagnant or receding since 1995? They get a good portion of the equation that I had not thought of…Productivity. They do miss the gorilla in the room…ever increasing government regulations that stifle innovation and gains in productivity.

Have a read and chew on it for a while.

Whatever Happened To Those Middle Class Income Gains?

By Isabel Sawhill

This year’s Economic Report of the President has an interesting analysis of the sources of the slowdown in income gains among the middle class. Given all the attention given to the issue of growing inequality, especially between those at the top and the other 90 percent you might think that was the major economic problem facing the nation. But no, it turns out that the biggest source of the slowdown is the poor performance of productivity since 1995 compared to the earlier postwar period.

The question the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) asks is what if productivity growth from 1973 to 2013 had continued at the rate of the previous 25 years from 1948-1973? The answer is that the typical household would have had an additional $30,000 in income. (CEA report, p. 33)

The CEA goes on to ask parallel “what if” questions about income inequality and female labor force participation. How much better off would the typical middle class household be if income gains had been broadly shared after 1973 and female labor force participation had not levelled off after 1995? These changes produce smaller effects on middle class incomes of $9,000 and $3,000 respectively. However, all three factors combined can explain a whopping $50,000 in income foregone by our typical family. In other words, these families would have almost twice as much income if it hadn’t been for the decline in productivity growth, the rise in income inequality, and the levelling off of female participation rates.

The very large role of slower productivity growth is surprising. After all, we have seen an explosion in technology fed by the increasing power of computers. Smart phones, driverless cars, computer-assisted design and manufacturing, robots, drones, and the innovations they have made possible should have boosted productivity smartly. But as Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Solow once quipped, ” You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” So what’s going on here?

According to the CEA, starting in 1973, labor productivity growth slowed dramatically to only 1.4 percent annually from its earlier pace of 2.8 percent from 1948-1973. (It has recovered somewhat over the last two decades but has not matched its earlier high levels.) They cite the exhaustion of pent-up innovations from World War II, reduced public investment, dislocations associated with a new international monetary system, and the oil shocks of the 1970s.

Other experts might add other factors to the list. Economist Robert Gordon believes that the technological breakthroughs of the late twentieth century cannot match earlier innovations such as those represented by electricity, cars, the telephone, and radio. It’s also possible that we have not yet seen the full effects of the computer revolution. My colleague, Barry Bosworth, has shown that a lot of productivity gains are occurring in the service sector and that it isn’t just capital deepening that is producing these gains. It is everything from better management to human capital investment and organizational innovation – all the things we cannot measure very well but which show up in the data as an unexplained residual.

In the meantime, the new technologies are contributing to growing income inequality. Because these technologies are replacing unskilled and even some medium-skilled jobs, we are left with the worst of both worlds – disappointing increases in productivity and declining opportunities for those without the education and skills to benefit from the new technologies.

The solution cannot be to slow down the pace of technology. It must be to encourage innovation, retrain workers, invest in the next generation, and help those dislocated by the changes. Yet we are not investing in research, in education, and in infrastructure in the same way we did in earlier decades. Taxes need to be reformed to provide greater simplicity, fairness, and growth. Policies such as paid leave, child care, and more flexible work places would encourage more second earners to join the labor force. Most innovation, to be sure, occurs in the private sector, but it has little incentive to invest as long as overall demand is constrained by policies that fail to mitigate financial instability or that are focused on short-term spending cuts in public investments combined with a longer-term explosion of consumption-oriented spending on the big entitlement programs. Until elected officials act to recreate these underpinnings of growth, any permanent improvements in middle class incomes are unlikely to be realized.

Isabel Sawhill is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution.  She co-directs the Budgeting for National Priorities Project as well as the Center on Children and Families.

Mars Attacks: Net Neutrality and a Very Dark Puzzle

by Mars ( 157 Comments › )
Filed under American Exceptionalism, Barack Obama, Blogmocracy, Business, Censorship, Communism, Cult of Obama, Economy, Education, Fascism, Free Speech, government, Guest Post, History, Liberal Fascism, Marxism, Political Correctness, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, Socialism, taxation, Technology at February 27th, 2015 - 1:40 pm

I have been noticing for a very long time now that there seems to be a cohesive puzzle being assembled by the left in regards to the internet. Through time I’ve been able to pick up the pieces of this puzzle, but today with the imposition of new regulations under the guise of Net Neutrality the puzzle becomes much clearer. I believe that the Net Neutrality regulations are the “frame” of this puzzle. Here are some of the pieces of collected through the years, see if you can see the same picture I do.

2011
http://www.wired.com/2011/06/internet-a-human-right/

http://www.dailytech.com/Obama+Reveals+National+WiFi+Plans+Claims+it+Will+Cut+Deficit+by+10B+USD/article20887.htm

2015
http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Obama-Pitching-More-Access-to-Fast-Internet-288518261.html

http://gizmodo.com/fcc-redefines-broadband-to-bring-you-faster-internet-1682516928

And now the new Net Neutrality regulations.

Through speeches since his election Obama has referred to a Free and Open Internet constantly, with stress on the word free. Many time there have been references to poor people who can’t afford internet. This coupled with everything else I posted above paints a dark picture for the future. One of the stumbling blocks for the people who want everyone to have access to the internet has been the fact that the average paying customer has been offended at the idea of people getting “broadband” speeds for free while everyone else has to pay for them. By changing the definition of broadband, the FCC has just managed to open up a huge amount of speed variations that they can now force companies to give away while not calling them broadband.

Second, by reclassifying broadband the FCC can force companies to meet a minimum standard for broadband service, which will require a complete reworking of the internet infrastructure. Where will this money come from ? Well, I figure the government will suddenly appear to save the day the way they did with the banks. There will be massive strings attached. The worst part is this money they will be handing out will already have come from the companies themselves in the form of the new utility taxes and regulatory fees that come with Title II reclassification of a utility. (The speech writes itself, I can already see Obama pontificating on this very subject. “90% of this country are getting below broadband speeds,………. this is a problem,………… a problem that can only be fixed…. by investing in the American Infrastructure”. /insert applause from mindless drones./ “The people of this country…….. deserve better……….and I intend to see that that happens.” As we all know “investing in the American infrastructure is left speak for massive tax hikes.)

There is even more to this than my little conspiracy theory.

Net Neutrality is a horror story in it’s own right. Who here is old enough to remember the Ma Bell monopoly that the government created out of the depression and allowed to run wild until the late 70’s? Well here is someone who does. He’s a member of the FCC’s own commision, Commissioner Ajit Pai.

http://www.fcc.gov/article/doc-332260a5

h/t Calo

In his oral dissent Commissioner Pai lays out exactly why this is such a dangerous set of regulations, and exactly what this means for the future of internet service. It’s not pretty, higher prices, slower speeds, less competition. It’s all there. And the best part? The regulations weren’t even written by the commission. The White House itself created a shadow FCC to write the rules they were going to impose. Here’s some of the people invited in to the White House to regulate the rest of us.

What the press has called the “parallel FCC” at the White House opened its doors to a plethora of

special-interest activists: Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Public

Knowledge, just to name a few. Indeed, even before activists were blocking Chairman Wheeler’s

driveway late last year, some of them had met with executive branch officials. But what about the rest of

the American people? They certainly couldn’t get White House meetings. They were shut out of the

process. They were being played for fools.

And the situation didn’t improve once the White House announced President Obama’s plan and

“ask[ed]” the FCC to “implement” it. The document in front of us today differs dramatically from the

proposal that the FCC put out for comment last May. It differs so dramatically that even zealous net

neutrality advocates frantically rushed in recent days to make last-minute filings registering their concerns

that the FCC might be going too far. Yet the American people to this day have not been allowed to see

President Obama’s plan. It has remained hidden.

This brave commissioner and the other republican on the commission attempted to get this regulation put out in the public eye where everyone could see it and review what it actually entailed. They were rejected by the 3 socialists on the commission. Make no mistake this set of regulations came DIRECTLY from the White House. Once again the President is making rules where he does not have the authority to do so. As an interesting aside to this, within Commissioner Pai’s dissent he shows a whole bunch of evidence and statements detailing how this is going to destroy small ISP companies. Some of the ISP’s that are about to be destroyed…the very Municipal (ie government) ISP’s he was lavishing praise on not long ago.

http://ctmirror.org/2015/01/14/white-house-pushes-fast-affordable-internet-praises-manchester-bristol-in-p/

To really see what is happening take a look at this thank you letter from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation, one of the groups at the forefront of trying to impose Net Neutrality.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/02/fcc-votes-net-neutrality-big-win

What makes this letter interesting is not it’s general obsequiousness but the fact that they acknowledge that there is a vague statement in the regulations that would allow the FCC to pretty much do anything it damn well pleased, up to and including censoring content. (This is the same statement the the EFF has been trying to get them to drop since the regulations were first discussed.) It should also be noted that a year ago when the Chair of the FCC was trying to put into place much more limited rules over Net Neutrality, the EFF itself stated that the FCC had NO AUTHORITY TO DO SO.

The fact remains that the Net Neutrality regulations were a great bait and switch perpetrated on those that pay little attention to what is actually going on. I hope the gamers and video streamers that have been worshiping this disaster enjoy their new slower, much more expensive internet plan. Our only hope at this point is that the courts act on this takeover. (I nearly said unprecedented but I would have been wrong. This is exactly the same as FDR’s takeover of the telecom industry in 1934.)

Strangely enough, probably the best statement on Net Neutrality comes from the Secretary General of the European People’s Party.

EUROPE GETS IN ON THE ACTION: The secretary general of the largest party in the European Parliament is adding to the chorus around net neutrality. Antonio López Istúriz-White of the center-right European People’s Party over the weekend chided President Obama for lambasting European regulations while at the same time calling for tough net neutrality rules from the FCC.

“The president’s position is riven with contradictions,” Istúriz-White wrote in a Financial Times op-ed. “He promotes burdensome regulations at home that could put the development of the Internet on ice in an attempt to protect one set of actors in the ecosystem. In another breath he calls on Europe to follow the very same successful U.S. model he wants to jettison to make life in Europe easier for that very same group of Over The Top players!”

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/overnights/233548-overnight-tech-pressure-building-ahead-of-net-neutrality-vote

Why indeed, does the President want to stifle progress and development at home, while promoting the opposite abroad?

The LEGO Movie: Emergent order wins, centralized planning fails

by 1389AD ( 121 Comments › )
Filed under Communism, Economy, Fascism, Hipsters, Movies, Regulation, taxation at September 9th, 2014 - 5:00 pm

EconPop – The Economics of The LEGO Movie

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0-oVMAhq6s

Published on Jul 29, 2014 by Econ Stories
All new episode! Click to share: http://ctt.ec/myUJ0

In this episode of EconPop, Andrew discusses the animated hit comedy The LEGO Movie. Subjects include emergent order, creative destruction, and central planning.

EconPop is the YouTube series that sifts through the haystack of popular culture to find the needle of economics within… and then stabs you with it!

Starring comedian Andrew Heaton, EconPop takes a surprisingly deep look at the economic themes running through classic films, new releases, tv shows and more from the best of pop culture and entertainment. Heaton brings a unique mix of dry wit and whimsy to bear on the dismal science of economics and the result is always entertaining, educational and irreverent. It’s Econ 101 meets At The Movies, with a dash of Monty Python.

A Production of http://emergentorder.com

Produced in Association with The Moving Picture Institute. http://thempi.org

GOP Messes It Up Yet Again

by coldwarrior ( 242 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Election 2014, Politics, Republican Party, RINOcracy, taxation, Tea Parties, Unions at September 2nd, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Kiss Pennsylvania Good Bye in November. We will have a Democrat in the Governor’s Mansion because the GOP refuses to be fiscally conservative. The following article is how not to win in PA. We want to be left alone, not to be taxed too much, we want smaller government; the establishment GOP screwed the pooch here. Gov Corbet and the party elite have angered the Fiscon base to the point that what should be an easy win for Corbet will be a loss, and a big one. They managed to beat the motivation to get out and vote out of the Republicans.

Read My Lips, No New Taxes…he said.

 

 

Anatomy of a GOP Disaster: Losing Pennsylvania

Governor Corbett has lost support by raising taxes and giving ground to public-sector unions.

All over the country Republican governors are either poised for easy reelection (such as Ohio’s John Kasich and Nevada’s Brian Sandoval) or running even or better against Democrats (Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott). Then there is Governor Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. The latest independent poll has him down a shocking 49 percent to 24 percent (with a quarter of voters undecided) against Democrat Tom Wolf.

How did Corbett become such an outlier? The answers show just how much trouble Republicans get into if they allow machine politics and public-sector unions to dictate their agenda.

Corbett aides quickly attacked the messenger, sending out tweets dismissing the recent poll, from Franklin & Marshall College.

“You are unfairly influencing this election with bad polls,” claimed Corbett campaign manager Mike Barley. But no such complaints came from Team Corbett when F&M showed then–attorney general Corbett winning the governor’s race easily in 2010. In addition, other polls confirm the governor’s dire political condition: The Real Clear Politics average of all recent polls in the race show Corbett down by 17 points. That’s in a state that Mitt Romney lost by only five percentage points in 2012.

Corbett has gotten himself into this fix in two ways: First, F&M pollster G. Terry Madonna noted that four years ago Corbett ran against the political culture of Harrisburg, the state’s capital, and “its cliques, obstructionist tactics, recurring corrupt behavior, and anti-reform ethos.” But he has consistently failed to get the major parts of his agenda through a legislature controlled by his fellow Republicans. Madonna pointed out that this leads to an obvious question: “Why can’t Corbett work with his own party?”

That question leads to the second reason for Corbett’s collapse. Pennsylvania is indeed an anti-reform state. Though once dominated by a GOP machine, it gave way to a Democratic-run machine with the advent of the New Deal. Now, the Keystone State is dominated by public-sector employee unions with their hooks buried deep inside both parties.

Time and time again, Corbett’s agenda was blocked by key Republicans in the legislature. His effort to pass school vouchers was whittled down to a measly $75 million increase in tax credits for private schools. His bid to finally privatize the state’s antiquated system of state liquor stores was thwarted. Ethics reform was dead on arrival. This year, Corbett lashed himself to the mast and vowed to steer public-employee pension reform to passage. “Sixty-two cents of every new dollar in revenue, goes to the pensions,” he told groups up and down the state. His proposal to change the pension plans for all new state and public-school employees ran aground when the GOP state house blocked it.

Corbett’s conservative allies urged him to press for “paycheck protection” — blocking the state from deducting union dues from state-worker paychecks — as the key to overriding union influence in the legislature. “Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Michigan’s Rick Snyder have both demonstrated how union power can be curbed by ending the union-only deduction-for-politics privilege,” Matt Brouillette, president of the state’s conservative Commonwealth Foundation, told me.

But at a pro-reform meeting of the Associated Builders & Contractors of Pennsylvania this spring, Corbett gave “paycheck protection” only a passing reference in his speech. When pressed by a member of the audience, he mumbled, “I’ve told everyone, if you get that bill on my desk, I’ll sign it.” But he made no special lobbying effort for the measure, just as he allowed his political team to discourage primary challenges to pro-union GOP legislators in the 2012 midterm elections. Paycheck protection died this summer. “We took an internal GOP caucus vote, and we were a few votes short in the house,” atate representative Richard Saccone told me at an Independence Hall Association event in Philadelphia this July 4th. “The unions have powerful influence on a few of our members.”

Governor Corbett’s failure to either anticipate the intransigence of some of his GOP legislators or build outside pressure on them has been compounded by his retreat on the pledge he made in 2010 not to raise taxes or fees. Earlier this year, he angered conservatives when he raised a wholesale tax on gasoline as well as a bevy of motorist fees as part of a business-as-usual transportation bill. Unsurprisingly, he has declined to repeat his pledge this year. “We can imagine what that would mean in any second term under Corbett: higher taxes,” conservative activist Bob Guzzardi tells me. Guzzardi tried to run against Corbett in this year’s GOP primary, but his petitions were challenged by four Corbett supporters and he was thrown off the ballot. Despite Guzzardi’s lack of money, Corbett clearly perceived him as a threat. A Gravis Marketing poll in January of this year found that when GOP primary voters were asked if they wanted to reelect Corbett or go for a new GOP nominee, 41 percent plumped for a new candidate and only 38 percent stuck with Corbett. In a hypothetical matchup, Guzzardi trailed Corbett, 42 percent to 23 percent, with a full 35 percent undecided.

Corbett’s problems with his base have continued. Last week’s F&M poll found that he doesn’t even command majority support among Republicans, leading Democrat Wolf by just 48 percent to 24 percent. Astonishingly, while Republicans nationwide are more motivated to vote than Democrats, in Pennsylvania it’s Democrats who are four points more likely to say they are certain to vote this fall.

Pennsylvania conservatives have often shown in the past they want more principled and effective leadership. In 2012, tea-party activist Cris Dush came within 500 votes of beating house speaker Sam Smith in a GOP primary, prompting Smith to retire this year. Dush went on to win this spring’s GOP primary to replace Smith.

The challenge Pennsylvania conservatives will face after Governor Corbett’s likely loss is how to deal with an anti-reform legislature that is apt to remain under GOP control thanks to creative gerrymandering. In the past, too many conservatives have cut them slack and allowed the party to retain quiet insider control in Harrisburg. But Corbett’s loss would be a wake-up call that the status quo is dragging Pennsylvania’s economy down and alienating the Republican party’s base.

A new approach is required. Democrat Wolf, a former finance secretary under Democratic governor Ed Rendell, has publicly said he plans to circumvent the state’s constitutional requirement that its income tax be one flat rate. Wolf won’t disclose details of his plan for a “progressive” tax regime, but its implementation could include some Obama-like dubious assertions of executive power. If Pennsylvania Republicans don’t start holding their leaders accountable by demanding pension reform and preserving the state’s flat 3.07 percent income-tax rate, they could see the state going the way of bankrupt Illinois, which has become a sordid example of just how much damage political machines in both parties can do to a once-proud state.

— John Fund is national-affairs correspondent for NRO.

Shootout at the Cold Stone Corral: The Arizona Republican Gubernatorial Primary

by The Osprey ( 79 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Business, Corruption, Democratic Party, DOJ, Economy, Election 2014, EPA, Eric Holder, Health Care, immigration, Immigration, IRS, Janet Napolitano, Misery Index, Politics, Regulation, Republican Party, taxation, The Political Right, unemployment at August 24th, 2014 - 6:02 pm

AZnObamaTruck

Damn. The Arizona Republican Primary is Tuesday, and I have still not been able to make up my mind who I am going to vote for to be our contender for Governor in November. There are 6 – count ’em – 6 candidates!

Nicknames in quotes are mine 😆

I break them down like this:

The Corporates – pushing their experience in the private sector:

Doug Ducey. “The Ice Cream Man” : Current AZ Treasurer. Founder of Cold Stone Creamery, the upscale ice cream chain. Has gotten endorsement of Republican heavy hitters from outside the state – Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, radio talker Hugh Hewitt. On the hand, he has been endorsed by John McCain and there have been questions of impropriety raised around some of his dealings with Cold Stone franchisees. UPDATE: It appears that Doug Ducey has been endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Christine Jones. “Go Daddy’s Girl”: Kind of a dark horse, or should I say, ginger horse. (She’s a red head). Was corporate attorney for Scottsdale based internet hosting company Go Daddy – they of the racy Superbowl ads and Danica Patrick ad campaign. Claims to be for strong border enforcement, but recent revelations of her social media posts from a few years back supporting Obama and other liberal positions, resume embellishments (she claimed to have worked as a prosecuting attorney prior to her Go Daddy days) have made me skeptical of her.

The Politicos – claiming the voice of moderation:

Ken Bennett: “Cool, Calm Ken” Current Arizona Secretary of State. Long term AZ politico seen by many as a balancing force in AZ Republican politics. Presents a “cool calm and collected” image but may be a RINO. Many Arizonans who support Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse investigation of Obama’s document fraud feel Bennett allowed himself to be bamboozled by Democrat officials in the Hawaii State Dept. of Records, and his lack of experience outside government has caused some criticism as well.

Scott Smith: “Mayor McRINO” Current Mayor of Mesa. Presents himself as a moderate Republican. Has a pretty good record as Mayor, but his support of Brewer’s Obamacare associated Medicare expansion which was passed in the dead of night by RINOS and Democrats and his participation in national Mayors conferences heavily influenced by Democrats has left a sour taste in the mouth of small government and balanced budget advocates in AZ. Endorsed by Jan Brewer.

The Lawmen- For border security and state’s rights :

Frank Riggs: “Marshall Dillon” Frank is a California transplant who moved to AZ in 2001. An army veteran and former police officer, he represented a conservative district in California in the Reagan years. This is his first foray back into politics since moving to Arizona. Has the endorsement for former State Senator Russell Pierce, author of SB 1070. A Border hawk. Those who object to him site a congressional voting record that is not quite as conservative as Riggs claims it to be.

Andrew Thomas: “The Boy Scout” Former Maricopa County Attorney. Defended Sheriff Joe’s immigration law enforcement in court, exposed and lead prosecution of various corrupt State representatives and Maricopa county supervisors. This gained him many enemies in the liberal Democrat run AZ Bar Association, who filed a lawsuit against him that while ultimately defeated, nonetheless lead to him being disbarred. He is very well liked in among AZ conservatives, but even many who like him feel that he is “damaged goods” and vulnerable to a Dem lead smear campaign in the General.

My initial thoughts back in February or March favored either Doug Ducey or Christine Jones. Having someone in the Governor’s office with private sector experience could help Arizona divert a lot of those California companies fleeing that state’s regulatory environment to Texas, into Arizona instead.

However, with the Bundy Ranch vs. Fed Gov showdown in April, the ongoing controversy over Sheriff Joe’s investigation into Obama’s document fraud, the “Camp of the Saints”/”Children’s Crusade” on the border, and the threat of ISIS infiltration via the border, has me leaning now towards one of “The Lawmen”. I don’t think the “Corporates” would have enough spine to stand up to Obama and Holder.

Polls are all over the map, there are some in the media who say the race is Ducey’s to lose, but I think there is a strong undercurrent for Andrew Thomas, as an F-YOU! to the Dems locally and nationally.

Curious to hear what other Blogmocers either in AZ or out of state think. We, along with Texas are on the front lines of the border crisis, Obama and Holder have been meddling in our local politics and the economy here has been struggling since 2008.

UPDATE: It appears that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has endorsed Doug Ducey.

More on Cantor’s Loss

by coldwarrior ( 100 Comments › )
Filed under Debt, Economy, Open thread, Politics, Regulation, Republican Party, taxation, The Political Right at June 18th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

This article sums up the division in the GOP quite nicely.

Sure, I agreed with some of the things he voted for, but in the long run (as we in the dismal science love to say) he failed in the basic task that a conservative has in DC: Limit the size of Fedgov and return power to the States, return power to YOU.

The video at the end is well worth the watch as well.

 

Will Anybody Really Miss Eric Cantor?

His stunning loss was built on a terrible record of big-government conservatism at its worst.

| June 17, 2014

Will anybody really miss Eric Cantor? Probably not. Despite (or maybe because of) his position in the House Republican leadership and the historic nature of his primary loss, there was virtually nothing remarkable about him as a politician or a policymaker. The Republicans have dozens or hundreds or thousands more just like him. He’s like a Dorito corn chip in those old Jay Leno ads: They’ll make more.

Cantor exemplifies what Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) just denounced as a “Chamber of Commerce”-style GOP legislator, “the same-old, same-old,” standard-issue Republican who has brought the party to a historically low level of self-identification among voters.

Cantor was what passes for a small-government conservative. Which is to say that Cantor was in favor of shrinking the size and scope of government…except for the endless list of exceptions that allowed him to help grow federal spending by more than 50 percent in real terms, and regulatory spending by even more, during the Bush years.

You know the drill: As a “conservative,” Cantor wanted the government out of people’s lives because FREEDOM-FOUNDING FATHERS-CONSTITUTION. Yet Cantor was anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion (he even wanted to prohibit adults from transporting minors across state lines if they were getting abortions). Because the federal government really should dictate all that, right? He endorsed a constitutional amendment against flag burning because free expression doesn’t mean you can actually express what you mean. He was pro-gun or, more specifically, pro-National Rifle Association. He was pro-drug war. Nothing unique or interesting there.

He wavered ever-so-slightly on immigration reform, meaning that he believed some children of immigrants shouldn’t be punished for their parents’ transgressions (big of him, really, at least in a GOP context). But he voted to build a militarized fence along our border with Mexico, pulled a 100 percent rating from the xenophobes at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and he wanted English to be the official language of America (what’s Mexican for WTF?). He loved the national security state (including virtually unchecked surveillance of Americans as well as foreigners), defense spending, and wars (especially when a Republican was in the White House). He voted for No Child Left Behind, the single-biggest increase in federal control over education because education is an issue best dealt with at the local level, unless conservative Republicans run the country.

On spending and economic issues, he was atrocious and hypocritical in all the ways that a Republican can be. Of course he voted for the 2003 expansion of Medicare to include prescription drugs, even as he voted against allowing Medicare to negotiate cheaper prices for that unwarranted giveaway to the nation’s seniors. He signed off on the Bush budgets and he championed the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the illegal auto bailouts (at least as long as a Republican was president).

Like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Cantor was a spirited defender of the Export-Import Bank, an FDR-created boondoggle that guarantees loans to foreign businesses who buy American products. As the Mercatus Center’s Veronique de Rugy has shown, the Ex-Im Bank is among the purest excrescences of crony capitalism, with favored U.S. companies such as Boeing getting massive subsidies via the program. Cantor was the leader in the effort to reauthorize it two years ago and was the point man on this year’s reauthorization too. He loved the House Republican budget resolution, the so-called Path to Prosperity, which is full of accounting tricks (such as zeroing out spending on Obamacare while keeping all the program’s revenues) and would increase annual federal spending from $3.7 trillion in 2015 to $5 trillion in 2024.

If Cantor does indeed exemplify the Chamber of Commerce-style Republican that enflames the Tea Party even more than it does liberal and progressive Democrats, does the majority leader’s defeat spell doom for the GOP establishment?

I hope so, but it’s far from clear. Cantor’s district had been redrawn, and while it remained solidly red, he was unfamiliar in much of it. His internal polling was way off, so he didn’t start a counter-campaign until it was too late. For reasons that aren’t clear, he pulled 8,500 fewer total votes in this primary than he did in 2012, a drop The Washington Post notes is wider than his opponent’s 7,200-vote margin of victory.

Primary voters tend to be much more ideological and extreme than general-election voters, so they aren’t representative of larger party dynamics. Economics professor David Brat vanquished Cantor in part by touting a tough line on immigration, but it’s not clear that rank-and-file Republicans are anti-immigrant or even care much about the topic. A recent Politico poll, for instance, finds 64 percent of Republican voters in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, and the topic is way down on lists of voter concerns.

For all those reasons, I think it’s folly to talk about Cantor’s loss as meaning more than the obvious: He perfectly represented the modal Republican in that he talked about limiting government while actively growing its reach in virtually every way. That is a supremely unattractive character to be in contemporary American politics, and it helps explain why Gallup finds just 25 percent of Americans identify as Republicans (the news isn’t rosy for Democrats, either, according to Gallup: Just 31 percent of Americans identify with that centuries-old brand). Last Saturday, Rand Paul told the Texas Republican Liberty Caucus that people everywhere “say it’s time…for this libertarian moment, this liberty moment. It’s no longer something that scares people, it’s what [makes] people say, we can’t run the same-old, same-old, we’re not going to win with the same-old, same-old.” Eric Cantor was definitely the same-old, same-old. The GOP is choking on guys (yes, guys) just like him who talk about limited government and then legislate in a totally different way.

I hope that Paul is right and folks want to embrace a vision of limited government that extends to social issues and spending issues. I don’t think the rejection of Cantor by primary voters tells us much about that. But it does signal that the status quo is up for grabs and that undistinguished pols like Cantor should be shaking in their boots.

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0gKUTBUqh4

Conservative?

by coldwarrior ( 123 Comments › )
Filed under Anarcho-Capitalism, Conservatism, Debt, Economy, government, Immigration, Libertarianism, Open thread, Politics, Regulation, Republican Party, taxation, Tea Parties, unemployment at May 16th, 2014 - 1:12 pm

Then I guess I ain’t one. No mention of deregulation at the federal level. No mention of any fiscally conservative issues like, oh, I don’t know, getting the budget and spending under control to avoid the obvious wall we are going to hit in a few years. No mention of tax reform. No mention of State’s rights. No mention of personal liberty. No mention of limiting the Federal Government’s role in our lives. These should be the ‘Agenda’ for the GOP. These should be Bedrock Issues.

 

But, predictably, No…It’s Abortion, ‘the family’ (not sure why fedgov needs to be involved in that), and illegal immigration. Now, if its up to me, abortion is up to the states where they could really make some headway like is being made on the second amendment. Mexico would be read the riot act and forced to close their side of the border, we would seal our southern border and the northern border. Hiring managers and HR and CEOs would do hard time for hiring illegals. There would be a path to citizenship, but it would be hard, and there would be work permits but they would only seasonal. Easy fix. took me 5 minutes.

 

Instead the usual crowd met and they talked about family values and abortion and fags. THE ECONOMY IS WRECKED!!!  WE HAVE 25% REAL UNEMPLOYMENT!!! WE ARE GOING TO RUN OUT OF MONEY IN A FEW YEARS!!! REGULATION IS KILLING US!!! FEDGOV VIEWS THE CITIZENS AS CATTLE!!! But no, let’s beat our chests about abortion and fags.

I have begun to ask myself, why does this  GOP ‘conservative wing’ not want to focus on why America is becoming poorer and losing ground by the minute while stacking up debt by the minute that will enslave our kids and grand-kids? Do they not see or not care about the train wreck that is coming for the economy? Why does this group have a willful disregard for economics and liberty? Having Grover Norquist natter on and subscribing to the economically illiterate idea of a balanced budget amendment does not address the serious fiscal issues that we face. Not even close. If these guys were the board and GOP was a corporation, they would be fired by the shareholders for negligence.

Although many Republicans are optimistic about their chances in this year’s elections, some of Washington’s leading conservatives gathered Thursday to privately vent frustrations about what kind of party they will be left with after November.

The group, alarmed by a resurgence of the GOP establishment in recent primaries and what activists view as a softened message, drafted demands to be shared with senior lawmakers calling on the party to “recommit” to bedrock principles.

Some of those principles laid out in the new document — strict opposition to illegal immigration, same-sex marriage and abortion — represent the hot-button positions that many Republican congressional candidates are trying to avoid as the party attempts to broaden its appeal.

Several attendees said they fear that elected Republicans, even if they succeed in retaining control of the House and winning the Senate majority, would cast aside the core conservative base.

“Conservatives ought not to delude themselves that if Republicans win the Senate majority, it will somehow be a conservative majority,” said L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Media Research Center, which monitors perceived media bias. “We should have no expectation whatsoever that they will listen. That’s why we’re fighting.”

Others worry that a toned-down campaign message by the party would dim GOP turnout and undercut Republicans in competitive races.

“I’m terrified that Republicans will blow this election if they are not going to stand for something,” said Michael A. Needham, the chief executive of Heritage Action, a conservative group.

Stand for something!?! How about standing for State’s rights, personal liberty and less regulation/federal control as ‘Bedrock Issues’? Why not restrain Fedzilla and get them off of our backs as a Bedrock Issue? They can start with USDA agents with machine guns and bullet proof vests then move to the BLM and ATF and EPA. How about standing for not selling our kids and grand-kids into debt slavery as a Bedrock Issue?

Debt is slavery and regulation is the whip.

Liberty is a gift. Liberty is a real and universal family value.

Debt and Liberty weren’t on the agenda.

 

*SO, this is what drives me mad about these people who call themselves conservative* Where is the liberty? Where is the reduction of enslaving debt?   Makes me crazy…so don’t get all out of whack over this post. It is for illustration purposes only.

 

Oh well…have a great friday and weekend yinz!

How To Refute The Economy Running On All Cylinders Meme In One Graph

by Flyovercountry ( 251 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Economy, Regulation, taxation, unemployment at April 25th, 2014 - 6:00 am

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Let me begin with my penance. All hail the Gods of the Third Party. Hail to thee, hail to thee, hail to thee. Forgive me my transgression of mentioning elections and wining them without touting you as the sole way forward for humanity’s best hope. Now that this is out of the way, on with the reason for the post.

It’s the start of another midterm campaign season, and the stupidity from the left is already in full bloom. It’s bloomed early this year, and the leftist arguments concerning economics are no exception to that. “Barack Obama brought us back from the brink of collapse.” “it would have been worse had McCain or Romney won.” “the economy is just starting to recover and is running on all cylinders,” will be heralded from the roof tops and accepted by a compliant and completely incurious media. Those statements and more are just a taste of what we’re about to hear as we crawl our way towards that first Tuesday in November, that next opportunity to mitigate the damage done by two Barack Obama terms in the Oval Office.

I realize that many in our nation, especially those who claim that America was perched on the brink of the proverbial abyss in January of 2009, will not remember the middle to late 1970’s, most specifically the state of our economy during those halcyon days. Jimmy Carter had managed to disprove the theory that a correlation betwixt unemployment and Inflation existed. Inflation was so high that banks were beginning to flat out refuse to loan even a single thin dime, unless the borrower agreed to an interest rate that made loan sharks scratch their heads and cry WTF. Gas lines were miles long, and rationing had begun. During the winter months, the nightly news dutifully reported how many days of coal for heating were left in stockpiles, and took the extra step of comparing that estimation with the number of days left in the winter season. Those are just some of the reasons why you hear a derisive laughter when stating that the George W. Bush economy was the worst since WWII.

When Ronald Reagan took over from Jimmy Carter in ’81, things were actually worse economically compared to when Obama took over from George W. Bush in ’08.
Consider these three important comparisons of economic indicators, then and now:

– Unemployment was at 10.8% versus 7.7%
– Inflation (Consumer Price Index) was at 13.5% versus 2.7%
– Interest rates (prime rate) was at 21.5% versus 3.25%

Obama v Reagan Net Jobs

What the above graph shows is the net new jobs created in proportion to the population growth. During the upcoming election cycle, be prepared for the baloney. They’ll bandy about some highly suspect and nebulous figure for how many jobs, Barack Obama, created. It’ll be in the millions, and we’re supposed to be amazed by it’s size, never actually comparing it to the size of our population, the size of our population’s growth, let alone how many of those jobs were additions to the tax paying public’s burden for all of this, or how many jobs were lost or disappeared during the same time frame.

I have said this many times before, but it bears saying again. We, meaning those of us who believe in small government limited in scope and authority by the consent of those governed, in free market economic principles, in the rule of law as codified in our Constitution’s original intent, must get our collective crap together and begin winning elections. Our problems run much deeper than Barack Obama or any of his small band of incompetent minions. Our collective pain has been achieved politically, and politically is the only way we will be able to remedy that pain.

You’ve probably all seen this before. I first saw this quote in March of 2009, but that does not change the fact that it is spot on, eloquent, and quite possibly the best description of the state of America today.

cid:732EA4AE-8A41-4215-ADFF-E99CADC77A91

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Taxed Enough Already Party Turns 5 Years Old

by coldwarrior ( 149 Comments › )
Filed under Barry Goldwater, Economy, Libertarianism, Open thread, Politics, Republican Party, taxation, Tea Parties at February 20th, 2014 - 8:00 am

Yesterday marks the Fifth anniversary of the Rant Heard Round The World.  The Taxed Enough Already Party is 5 years old now.

 

Tea Party Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEZB4taSEoA

Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of the modern tea party movement, which began with a single rant from CNBC’s Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

“A lot of people have been credited with starting the modern-day tea party but make no mistake, it was Rick Santelli,” conservative talk show host Glenn Beck said  in an email to Business Insider. “His off the cuff monologue spoke the words that millions of Americans felt but could not nor dare not speak.”

Santelli was ranting, as he is known to do on CNBC, on Feb. 19, 2009 about the homeowner bailout that was being proposed by the Obama administration.

“We’re thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July,” Santelli said in 2009. “All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m going to start organizing.”

In 2010, Santelli called the rant the “best five minutes of my life.”

He told Business Insider that he doesn’t “feel any differently now.”

“Lots of people, companies and agencies played a role but that day I was focused on the homeowners that failed in their personal financial responsibility,” he said. “It was about contract law and about the government promoting bad behavior.”

Santelli said he thinks that he “said something that lit the fuse” that led to the modern-day tea party movement.

“I was fed up, the country was fed up … taxpayers were on the hook after the credit bubble popped,” Santelli said.

The tea party is credited for fueling the GOP’s win in the House in 2010 and still remains a force in the Republican Party and politics.

The Fiscal Conservative movement has not gone away either.  Our own side has tried to drown us or take us over, idiots and charlatans have claimed to be our leaders, and the media has Alynskied us. We don’t care. My little group plans for some action this summer and fall for the election of more Fiscal Conservatives. We all work for a living, so it can’t be year round. We have to pick our time wisely.

And, I am in the process of educating 6 young professionals in the ways of economics, educating them and letting them make up their own mind of matters of fiscal policy.  This could easily be 6 votes for the GOP that were for Obama; yeah, they made a mistake, so what.  Now they have learned a valuable lesson. These folks are pretty libertarian, meaning that they don’t want the government on their back 24/7. They want to pay less taxes. They want to just live their lives, make some money, enjoy more liberty. I’ve had two of them read Barry Goldwater and they had an epiphany.  Heysoos talks about wanting to see action. Well, there it is, I can deliver 6 votes for the Taxed Enough Already Fiscon/libertarian wing.  It’s up to the GOP not to screw it up.  This is the future because I am going to bet that this sort of ‘conversion’ is happening all around the nation.